Pets are good for our health

Got 5 minutes? Give Fido or Fluffy some affection!

Here’s something new and fun I learned: pets are good for our health! Even if you’re not a pet owner (like me), you can still reap the benefits of being around an animal. Keep reading to learn more!

Smiling French bulldog with the blog title "Pets Are Good for Our Health"

I was remembering earlier the day I found a lost puppy in my neighborhood. I was probably 8 years old, and I just knew this little dude needed to come home with me. So what if we already had a dog? And three cats? And a tank full of fish? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, my dad was having none of it, so I spent the rest of day looking for his owner – and actually found her! But it’s probably inevitable that our kids will do this to all of us at some point. Luckily mine aren’t old enough to go outside by themselves. Yet.

As much as I’m happy not to have a pet at home right now, I know that will change one day. And the good news is that our little furry (or scaly or feathered) friends are more than just companions, and even more than just valued members of the family. Pets are good for our health, too!

Pets are good for our health

According to reports, including the CDC, pet owners tend to be more physically active, have less stress, and actually live longer lives than those in animal-free homes. Why? There are a number of reasons. Walking a dog (or cat, if that’s your thing) is an excellent source of regular exercise. The act of petting an animal can actually reduce your blood pressure, which both reduces stress and improves heart health. Some studies show that babies who grow up around pets are less likely to develop allergies and asthma, and others show that pet owners visit the doctor less often for minor illnesses. In a clinical setting, interacting with a therapy dog has been shown to reduce pain in a variety of patients.

Another amazing thing pets have the power to do is to help us connect. Walking a pet or taking it to a dog park is a great way to interact with other people who share your love of animals. Increased social interaction can actually extend the length of your life as well as your number of healthy years.

Today’s quick tip for pet owners

Take your dog for a walk, or to the park! It’s great exercise, an opportunity to connect with others, plus a needed dose of Vitamin D.

What about for us non-pet owners?

Find an animal to pet! Or maybe spend five minutes on Petfinder to find one to adopt, if you’re in the market. Pets are good for our health, and adopting is always good for their health, too. I will probably just stick with petting the neighbor’s cat for now.

 

Do you have a pet? I would love to see a picture!

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